Can America's 'Race Problem' Be Solved?
Wasn't Barack Obama's election as president supposed to herald the emergence of a "post-racial" America?
Two recent incidents strongly suggest the answer is "no." First, Paula Deen's life and career were devastated after she admitted that, decades ago, in private and after being robbed at gunpoint, she used the "N"-word.
(There are two "crimes" in America that evidently do not have a statute of limitations. The first is Murder 1. The other seems to be saying the "N"-word [if you're white].)
Second, the civil rights industry's reaction to a jury's verdict that George Zimmerman was innocent in the death of Trayvon Martin also illustrates how race still divides America.
The turmoil surrounding Deen's travails and Zimmerman's show trial implies that race relations in America are more polarized than at any time since jury nullification freed O. J. Simpson in 1995.
The Deen imbroglio and the Martin-Zimmerman case are microcosms of America's race problem. Since most of the reaction -- pro and con -- to these incidents has centered on the Martin-Zimmerman case, let me focus on what Deen's experience signifies about race relations in Obama's America.
Since relatively less is known about Deen's past than about Zimmerman's, permit a brief biography, largely to put her recent experience into context. Born to poor parents in Albany, Georgia in 1947, Deen's first, early marriage ended in divorce. Suffering from panic attacks and agoraphobia, the young woman began cooking for her three sons partly because it was something she could excel at in the home. A second marriage, to Jimmy Deen, lasted from 1965 to 1989, but ended in divorce, leaving the 42-year-old Deen with $200 to her name. Deen parlayed that into a successful restaurant -- co-owned with her younger brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers -- and a hugely successful cooking TV show on the Food Network.
When ex-employee of the restaurant, who is white, sued for racial and sexual discrimination, Deen admitted that, decades earlier -- in private and after being robbed at gun-point -- she had used the "N"-word. When word of her apostasy surfaced in June of 2013, Deen's world began to unravel. The Food Network cancelled her TV show and she lost several other business arrangements. Perhaps the bottom was reached when Ballantine Books canceled a contract to publish her next book, proving that when charges of "Racism!" are made, the First Amendment loses out to the bottom line.
Deen's case dramatically illustrates what can happen even to a highly visible celebrity when he/she runs afoul of America's racially sensitive language police.
Can there be any doubt that America has a serious race problem? It is possible that race will be the destruction of America's republic. Either a left-wing dictatorship -- rooted in the civil rights industry and allied with white guilt -- or a backlash that will make the George Wallace protest of 1968 pale by comparison, will impose its will on the rest of society.
What, if anything, can be done to resolve, or to ameliorate, America's race problem?
The answer to this query is "not much," but the U.S. must make the effort, lest the problem be left to fester, or until... Armageddon.
Lurking just beneath society's surface is a multitude of chronic race-related problems. Collectively, they symbolize a crisis, growing ever more severe.
Space limitations preclude mentioning every facet of the pathologies afflicting the black community. (Some will accuse me of "racism." If this be racism, make the most of it!)
The following are just ten pathologies afflicting the black community: (1) roughly 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock; (2) 72% of black children are raised in one-parent -- usually a woman -- households; (3) 60% of black marriages end in divorce; (4) consequently, 32.8% of black children grow up in poverty; (5) about 50% of blacks graduate from the 12th grade; (6) unemployment among blacks is 14.4%, compared to 7.4% among whites, and is 40.8% among black teenagers; (7) 35% of blacks -- mostly male -- join inner-city gangs; (8) approximately 32% of black males serve time in a state or federal prison at some point in their life; (9) there are more black men in prisons than in colleges/universities; (10) recidivism among blacks is 70%.
As if to "rub salt" in the proverbial wounds, most of the policies advocated by leftists to "solve" these pathologies have backfired.
These -- and other pathologies -- comprise the backdrop against which American race relations occur.
Many of these pathologies are found among whites, of course, and as Charles Murray has shown (Coming Apart, 2012), most have worsened, particularly among poorer whites, since 1960.
Even so, America is increasingly divided into at least two separate societies: one white, one black.
The ideal that once motivated civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. -- a country where people are judged by the "content of their character," not the color of their skin -- has been jettisoned by a civil rights industry that believes skin color is the most important determinant of a person's worth. Integration as a goal of the civil rights movement long ago was supplanted by separatism.
Many people have focused on the Martin-Zimmerman case to illustrate America's racial division. Deen's story is even more problematic. Zimmerman's "crime" -- if that is what it was -- occurred just last year. The jury's decision isn't even a week old.
Deen's "crime" happened decades ago. No one can convincingly adduce evidence that she harbors ill-will toward blacks today. But, for something she said long ago, she must pay.
I joked above that the only "crimes" in America that time can never wash away are first-degree murder and a white person uttering the "N"-word. Shouldn't that be worrisome, especially in a country that allegedly has a constitutionally sanctioned guarantee of free speech?
America will never solve the race problem until it becomes common knowledge that the civil rights industry and its allies in the Democrat Party and the MSM will not acknowledge the changes that have occurred in the U.S. (insofar as race is concerned) since World War II ended.
America will never solve the race problem until the overwhelming majority stops being cowed by the word "Racism!"
America will never solve the race problem until more people jettison white guilt. Shelby Steele has written about its deleterious effects (for blacks and whites), and more people need to read that book (White Guilt, 2006), and learn from it.
America will never solve the race problem until MSM denizens learn their efforts to keep whites and blacks at each other's throat are counterproductive. (MSM outlets have lost the public's trust and large portions of their audience. Both developments should be accelerated.)
America will never solve the race problem until "the ruling class" learns that efforts to make the "the country class" pay for historic "wrongs" are backfiring. Did you ever notice that such efforts are never borne by the ruling class?
America's current Chief Executive won the presidency in 2008 promising "hope and change." Obama and his ilk can keep the hope. The rest of us need to work for change.